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4H Wildlife Stewards
 
Bringing Science and Nature Together...one school at a time.


EXPLORING NATURE WITH CHILDREN

By Stephanie Wagner
Friends of Tryon Creek
Portland, Oregon

Here are several tips for exploring nature with your students:

  1. Have an outdoor adventure at least once a week. Involve all the senses. Be sure to dress for the weather. Do not try to do too much. A short fun experience can mean much more than a full day. Man with Binoculars
  2. Keep a Nature Journal and include:
    • Place
    • Date
    • Time
    • What we did
    • What we saw
    • What we smelled
    • What we touched
    • What we heard
  3. Instruct students to tell a story about the place they visited. They can write it down if they want to. Have students try writing a poem to add to their journal.
  4. Have students make a nature tapestry. Add something to it from each place you visit.
  5. Help students make collections of things that interest them. Just about anything will make an interesting collection (feathers, seeds, rocks, leaves, insects, flowers, etc.)
  6. Make items that can enhance discovery, including cardboard binoculars, a touching bag, or a footprint catcher.
  7. Carry a discovery pack with you. Include a magnifying glass, pieces of black and white paper or cloth, and a collecting box or jar.
  8. Investigate little things with your students. A slug or a worm can be every bit as interesting as a larger mammal.
  9. Remember that plants are special, too. Where would we be without photosynthesis!
  10. Encourage outdoor play—build forts, dig holes, discover hidden places.
  11. Visit the library. Use books you find to reinforce or learn something new about our outdoor experience.
  12. Visit a nature center with your students and have students ask questions, take a guided walk or take a class.
MORE INFORMATION
   
» Tips for Teaching Outdoors

» Outdoor Safety

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4-H Wildlife Stewards, Sunnyside Environmental School, 3421 SE Salmon 1209,
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